Boycott of Israel prompts two universities to quit American Studies Association

( Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg on Wednesday announced they have withdrawn from the American Studies Association (ASA) following the ASA membership’s Dec. 15 vote to endorse a boycott of Israel.

The Brandeis University campus. Brandeis announced it has quit the American Studies Association following the association's boycott of Israel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

“We view the recent vote by the membership to affirm an academic boycott of Israel as a politicization of the discipline and a rebuke to the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster,” the Brandeis American Studies Department said in a statement. “We remain committed to the discipline of American Studies but we can no longer support an organization that has rejected two of the core principles of American culture—freedom of association and expression.”

Dr. Simon Bronner, the head of the American Studies department at Penn State Harrisburg, said in a statement, “In the wake of the passage of the resolution by the ASA to boycott Israeli institutions, which programs and departments such as Penn State Harrisburg’s program in American Studies consider to curtail academic freedom and undermine the reputation of American Studies as a scholarly enterprise, the chair of the American Studies program at Penn State Harrisburg plans to drop its institutional membership and will encourage others to do so.”

Posted on December 19, 2013 .